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More than 100 ibtm world hosted buyers caught up in pilot strike

Flight cancellations affect 130 buyers, with 5 cancelling trip to Barcelona altogether at this year's ibtm world

Pictured: thousands of Lufthansa flights have been cancelled due to industrial action this week

About 130 hosted buyers at this year's ibtm world have had to scramble to rearrange flights to Barcelona, with some of them opting not to come altogether, because of the Lufthansa pilot strike.

The travel plans for the delegates were thrown into disarray as several flights were cancelled, forcing trade show organisers Reed Exhibitions and travel management partner BCD Travel to step in and assist with last minute rearrangements. Many of the buyers arrived 24 hours later than planned and some were due to arrive even later.

The majority of affected buyers are from Germany and it is understood five opted to cancel their travel plans altogether. Ibtm world, in its 29th year, is taking place this week in Barcelona.

Reed Exhibitions senior exhibition director Graeme Barnett told M&IT its show partner BCD Travel was working closely with Lufthansa to arrange new flights for the affected hosted buyers.

"It's a bit of a distraction, but we've set a team up to deal with this type of thing. BCD Travel is part of our team and they're here on hand for just that type of issue. They're working with Lufthansa to try and put the hosted buyers on routes into Barcelona by Wednesday.

"BCD has been in touch with each one of the affected buyers to make sure Lufthansa has spoken to them and rearrange flights."

As many as 1,700 flights were cancelled as ibtm world took place on 30 November to 1 December, as the Lufthansa pilots took action.

Barnett said Reed Exhibitions and BCD would look at compensation from the airline company, but stressed it was not a priority. He said: "Our issue is not about that, it's to get the hosted buyers here as soon as possible. Compensation is up to us to work out with Lufthansa."

  • Werner Van Cleemputte of Medicongress 01/12/2016

    IBTM was not only hit by the strike of the Lufthansa pilots, but also of the cleaning staff of the Barcelona airport, turning this departure and arrival hall as well as all piers and gates into one big belt. Check-in staff had to clean the floor in front of their check-in desks with a rack for trolley dimensions control. Crazy situation, a real mess it was.

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